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TITLE:  APPENDIX B TO HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT
AUTHOR:  U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
DATE:  FEBRUARY 1995





                           APPENDIX B

                   Reporting on Worker Rights

The Generalized System of Preferences Renewal Act of 1984 
requires reporting on worker rights in GSP beneficiary 
countries.  It states that internationally recognized worker 
rights include "(A) the right of association; (B) the right to 
organize and bargain collectively; (C) a prohibition on the use 
of any form of forced or compulsory labor; (D) a minimum age 
for the employment of children; and (E) acceptable conditions 
of work with respect to minimum wages, hours of work, and 
occupational safety and health."  All five aspects of worker 
rights are discussed in a final section under the heading 
"Worker Rights."  The discussion of worker rights considers not 
only laws and regulations but also their practical 
implementation, taking into account the following additional 
guidelines:

     A.  "The right of association" has been defined by the 
International Labor Organization (ILO) to include the right of 
workers and employers to establish and join organizations of 
their own choosing without previous authorization; to draw up 
their own constitutions and rules, elect their representatives,
and formulate their programs; to join in confederations and 
affiliate with international organizations; and to be protected
against dissolution or suspension by administrative authority.

The right of association includes the right of workers to 
strike.  While strikes may be restricted in essential services 
(i.e., those services the interruption of which would endanger 
the life, personal safety, or health of a significant portion 
of the population) and in the public sector, these restrictions 
must be offset by adequate guarantees to safeguard the interests
of the workers concerned (e.g., machinery for mediation and 
arbitration; due process; and the right to judicial review of 
all legal actions).  Reporting on restrictions affecting the 
ability of workers to strike generally includes information on 
any procedures that may exist for safeguarding workers' 
interests.

     B.  "The right to organize and bargain collectively" 
includes the right of workers to be represented in negotiating 
the prevention and settlement of disputes with employers; the 
right to protection against interference; and the right to 
protection against acts of antiunion discrimination.  
Governments should promote machinery for voluntary negotiations
between employers and workers and their organizations.  
Reporting on the right to organize and bargain collectively 
includes descriptions of the extent to which collective 
bargaining takes place and the extent to which unions, both in 
law and practice, are effectively protected against antiunion 
discrimination.

     C.  "Forced or compulsory labor" is defined as work or 
service exacted from any person under the menace of penalty and 
for which the person has not volunteered.  "Work or service" 
does not apply in instances in which obligations are imposed to 
undergo education or training.  "Menace of penalty" includes 
loss of rights or privileges as well as penal sanctions.  The 
ILO has exempted the following from its definition of forced 
labor:  compulsory military service, normal civic obligations, 
certain forms of prison labor, emergencies, and minor communal 
services.  Forced labor should not be used as a means of (1) 
mobilizing and using labor for purposes of economic development;

(2) racial, social, national, or religious discrimination; (3) 
political coercion or education, or as a punishment for holding 
or expressing political views or views ideologically opposed to 
the established political, social, or economic system; (4) labor
discipline; or (5) as a punishment for having participated in 
strikes.  Constitutional provisions concerning the obligation 
of citizens to work do not violate this right so long as they 
do not take the form of legal obligations enforced by sanctions 
and are consistent with the principle of "freely chosen 
employment."

     D.  "Minimum age for employment of children" concerns the 
effective abolition of child labor by raising the minimum age 
for employment to a level consistent with the fullest physical 
and mental development of young people.  In addition, young 
people should not be employed in hazardous conditions or at 
night.

     E.  "Acceptable conditions of work" refers to the 
establishment and maintenance of machinery, adapted to national 
conditions, that provides for minimum working standards, i.e., 
wages that provide a decent living for workers and their 
families; working hours that do not exceed 48 hours per week, 
with a full 24-hour rest day; a specified annual paid holiday; 
and minimum conditions for the protection of the safety and 
health of workers.  Differences in levels of economic 
development are taken into account in the formulation of 
internationally recognized labor standards.  For example, many 
ILO standards concerning working conditions permit flexibility 
in their scope and coverage.  They may also permit countries a 
wide choice in their implementation, including progressive 
implementation, by enabling countries to accept a standard in 
part or subject to specified exceptions.  Countries are expected
to take steps over time to achieve the higher levels specified 
in such standards.  It should be understood, however, that this 
flexibility applies only to internationally recognized standards
concerning working conditions.  No flexibility is permitted 
concerning the acceptance of the basic principles contained in 
human rights standards, i.e., freedom of association, the right 
to organize and bargain collectively, the prohibition of forced 
labor, and the absence of discrimination.


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[end of document]

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